Say goodbye to Disney World's Talking Mickey

January 22, 2018, 12:02 PM · Say goodbye to Disney's Talking Mickey. Cast members are reporting that the talking version of Mickey Mouse that has greeted fans at the Town Square Theater in Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom is retiring in favor of the traditional, miming Mickey.

The talking Mickey Mouse character debuted to guests at Disneyland in 2010, then started appearing at Walt Disney World the next year. A talking version of Mickey has been a staple at Disney's theme park press events over the years, but making Mickey "talk" to a pre-recorded track during a single, well-rehearsed presentation is a very different beast than making Mickey talk to a seemingly endless flow of different guests over the course of a day in the park.

A true Talking Mickey requires interactive technology — which Disney has used to customize character dialogue in other theme park attractions, including Turtle Talk with Crush, and the Monsters Inc. attractions in the Magic Kingdom and Disney California Adventure. But Talking Mickey requires even more work than those installations, given the intimacy of sustaining a conversation with a single party that stands within arm's reach.

Disney has not revealed exactly how it makes Talking Mickey — or any of these other interactive attractions — work, but it's widely believed that backstage cast members are involved, creating many more logistical challenges for Talking Mickey encounter than a traditional meet and greet. Plus, the Talking Mickey costume, because it must support a head with the mechanics to move the mouth, nose, and eyes to support the illusion of speech, is likely heavier and more burdensome to cast members than a traditional Mickey suit and head. (And anything that moves wears out faster than something that doesn't, too. Mickey heads ain't cheap.)

Is the enhanced experience for guests worth the extra hassles, expense, and cast discomfort? Especially if the enhanced experience of possibly meeting a Talking Mickey is canceled by a diminished experience if guests have to wait longer to meet Mickey.

Knowing Disney, it would need to see guest satisfaction data for Talking Mickey rate significantly higher than for meet and greets with the traditional Mickey in order to justify its continued operation. I suspect that the company wasn't seeing that. For many fans, simply meeting Mickey is thrill enough. It's the hug, the high five, and the photo opp they'll remember.

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Replies (46)

January 22, 2018 at 12:33 PM · I loved meeting talking Mickey. He was one of the highlights of my last trip. The whole experience brought me to tears. It was soooo magical and I will be very sorry to see him go.
January 22, 2018 at 2:19 PM · Nooooooooooooooo - this was one of the highlights of our last trip. Something unique that you don't see anywhere else.
January 22, 2018 at 2:23 PM · I always just assumed they had a voicebox in the costume.
January 22, 2018 at 2:36 PM · Just get rid of the mouse empire altogether.
January 22, 2018 at 3:54 PM · I'm going to miss his voice. It was so magical.
January 22, 2018 at 4:00 PM · I've actually heard (online, so take it with plenty of salt) that the issue isn't with talking Mickey not rating highly enough, but actually the opposite. When guests have met talking Mickey at the Magic Kingdom, they expect him to talk when they meet him at the other parks, not to mention meetings with other characters.

I certainly hope that this is just a rumor, as talking Mickey has been a highlight of my trips, as well as for the kids I've gone with. It really makes a huge difference.

January 22, 2018 at 4:18 PM · I seen him on YouTube videos but I wanted to see him in person sorry I didn't get the chance to I never been to Walt Disney world I always wanted to see it in person
January 22, 2018 at 4:29 PM · I don't like Mickey going ...i don't feel like going Disney again.
January 22, 2018 at 6:15 PM · This to me is one of THE best experiences I had in the magic kingdom, the first time we experienced talking Mickey, the wow factor was just huge, it made me instantly feel like a kid and as if I was finally meeting the real Mickey Mouse and he was connecting with all of us. Such a unique experience should not go away!! Let's hope it's just rumors
January 22, 2018 at 5:17 PM · My kids an I got to meet him as a special treat and they were enthralled. We Had the best time with him. The kids have great pictures and he did magic tricks with them and we had the best time. Please don’t discontinue this my kids still tell people they spoke with Micky Mouse and how great he is!!! What is better than that???
January 22, 2018 at 5:29 PM · Oh no this makes me so sad!! We were just there Jan 5th-13th didn't get to see him line was to long for a two year old!! Lol But he will be missed for sure!! Loved talking Mickey!!
January 22, 2018 at 5:30 PM · Talking Mickey was the highlight of our day. The park was closing and despite the achey backs and painful feet we told the kids we'd stop in the theater and wait in line to meet Mickey. My son was into magic at the time but we had no idea he spoke. When it was our turn I remember what a magical surprise it was that he spoke to us. To this day we all still talk about how glad we are we made that last stop because it was the best moment of the day. Something about it just made us all a little emotional. Theybdont know yet that we are going back this year. They will be so sad when they find out that's not on the list.
January 22, 2018 at 6:24 PM · This is heart breaking ... not only for the children, but for all of his fans. Hoping Disney will reconsider and keep Mickey talking to his fans. I know my 6 yr.old granddaughter will be crushed ... for the past 4 years "Talking Mickey" is her number 1 visit every day that we go to MK.
January 22, 2018 at 6:58 PM · I was apparently the last to know that this Mickey spoke when I went with my kids to see him at Disney World this past super, I was beyond blown away when he opened his mouth and talked! I felt like a kid again dazzled by Disney Magic! Please, I hope they change their minds and keep talking Mickey!!!!
January 22, 2018 at 7:16 PM · Super sad about this. Booked a trip in May just to get this fast pass alone. :(
January 22, 2018 at 7:37 PM · When is this supposed to happen? We are going in February
January 22, 2018 at 8:04 PM · No!! They can't take talking Mickey away. It was The highlight of our family's trip the last few years. The kids and the adults absolutely love it; it's an experience that can't be duplicated anywhere else!! We will all be disappointed if this experience disappears.
January 22, 2018 at 8:16 PM · Extremely sad to hear this. My 2yo son loved this Mickey when he was one. Now that he is 2 and has a larger vocabulary of his own we were looking forward to his next interaction. I also echo another comment that I felt like a kid watching it. It feels like so much of what we love goes away for items I would take a hard pass on.
January 22, 2018 at 8:36 PM · Trust me, it's absolutely true that talking Mickey takes a exhaustive till on cast members and this makes it very probable that their will be detrimental effects on small human necks (trust me again, Mickey has a heavy head without any added equipment). Entertainment cast members work hard to give guests as much magic as they can but I'm sure guests can appreciate the risk is too great. Don't worry, Mickey knows how to create magic ask on his own.
January 22, 2018 at 9:08 PM · Im going for my very first trip next year. When will they discontinue the talking Mickey?
January 22, 2018 at 9:20 PM · I am very disappointed in this decision especially without asking how we feel, the people who pay high prices to see and HEAR Mickey. This is an ultimate experience and I've enjoyed all my visits with him. Please reconsider this discontinuing of the talking Mickey. We all love this experience.
January 22, 2018 at 10:14 PM · This is SUPER disappointing. It's one of my favorite things to do when someone who isn't a Disney Parks nut comes to visit. They're always so shocked and delighted. I would be heartbroken if this left!
January 22, 2018 at 11:37 PM · What!

I’d think we’d moving forward with techonogly, not backwards.

I’d expect to be reading articles about how Disney plans to expand taking characters, not nix the entire experience.

January 22, 2018 at 11:41 PM · This is a huge disappointment. Talking Mickey was far better than a run of the mill meet and greet. It was a unique and extraordinary experience. And we took an amazing video of us interacting with Mickey -- not just the usual pics.

The only other meet and greet that comes close is Raptor Encounter at Universal. It looks like Universal will now have the best M&G in town.

January 23, 2018 at 2:39 AM · My 1 year old twins recognized him and were so excited. I didn't think they would at that age but they did. It's too bad it's going away.
January 23, 2018 at 3:24 AM · Amazing how old Disney always wanted to "plus" things and how the "Disney In Name Only Company" is constantly "minus-ing" everything.
January 23, 2018 at 4:44 AM · That is so sad. My grandkids talked and sang with Mickey yesterday. They love it. I hope they will reconsider
January 23, 2018 at 5:23 AM · My three ur old son met talking mickey last year and he STILL talks about him till this day. He couldn't believe that mickey asked him to stomp his feet with him. This is so disappointing
January 23, 2018 at 5:30 AM · My heart is breaking over this! I had heard it may happen but really hoped that it was just a rumor. It literally is my most cherished Disney memory and I've recently returned from my 14th trip in 5-6 years. My daughter now 20 openly weeps every time Mickey speaks to her and in that instant I can see the little girl return and we exist in a world where magic happens and your dreams really do come true. I will miss our pal's voice so much! I'm definitely really sad about Disney's decision.
January 23, 2018 at 6:16 AM · My daughter met all the characters but meeting Mickey that talked was her highlight! It will be so sad to see this go!
January 23, 2018 at 6:25 AM · Bye bye
January 23, 2018 at 6:35 AM · Bummer...this is my favorite magic in Disney. Makes me smile every time I think about the first time my boys met Mickey.
January 23, 2018 at 6:52 AM · Disney is cutting cost on customers expense. Disney needs to invest in infrasture. It's a real shame how Disney properties Have gone down hill. No longer maintained to Walt Disney standards. If you enjoy long lines,buses that don't show up,poor condition monorail,long lines then Disney for you. It's like JFK airport
January 23, 2018 at 8:09 AM · Its the mechanics they keep shutting down and have to be rebooted
January 23, 2018 at 8:24 AM · Please do not take talking Mickey away. We absolutely loved him talkimg!!
January 23, 2018 at 8:46 AM · Easily to most magical experience in the park.

Kids couldn't believe it was really him. At last the real Mickey Mouse standing there having a conversation with them.

A real shame if this is true a step backwards for Disney.

January 23, 2018 at 9:28 AM · That’s a shame ! It was the most magical moment for my 10 month old son. He was completely a sleep when we entered the room and when he heard “Hi ya Pal” he woke up with the biggest smile Possible. During our 10 days we brought him 4 times as this was the only character that got his attention. This is a step backwards for Disney !!!
January 23, 2018 at 9:42 AM · This is by far one of the highlights of our trip that we make every year. If they no longer offer this attraction we are going to be very disappointed.
January 23, 2018 at 9:48 AM · This is Disney if anyone is going to do it than that are. Idk if it is,expensive they just purchased Marvel and are doing layoffs at resorts given me a break.
January 23, 2018 at 9:49 AM · I agree, this would be a HUGE minus if this experience is taken away. My daughter did not see it on our 1st trip but we have made sure to stop and see Talking Mickey on our other 2 trips. Yes we love seeing the other characters and photo ops, but having a character talk with you and interact, there's just nothing better. My daughter has been upset upon hearing this news and we all hope it is a rumor. At least I have videos of her and Talking Mickey.
January 23, 2018 at 10:42 AM · Very sad that they are doing away with talking Mickey. It was a moment that I will never forget to hear him speak to my son for the first time. It's just truly sad I don't know what else to say. I wish they would have continued with it because I believe it's a special moment for kids and adults to actually hear Mickey speak. It makes it very personal and a memory that a parent can treasure forever.
January 23, 2018 at 1:01 PM · THIS WAS THEEE HIGHLIGHT OF MY 9 YEAR OLD DAUGHTER, WHOM TURNED 10 OVER OUR LAST TRIP TO WDW! She believes in ALL of the magic, even more so now BECAUSE she had a personal conversation with Mickey Mouse! Disney is ALL ABOUT believing in magic, you CANNOT take that away from children. Some have been through SO MUCH in their own everyday lives.... If you take away the magic, you take away the possibilities of realism. She believes in Mickey, and MAGIC! Disney should be SO PROUD of this HUGE accompaniment!
PLEASE do not take away talking Mickey, that would break her heart ????!
January 23, 2018 at 3:00 PM · NO!!! Talking Mickey is always the first visit of our trip. He's perfect and they can't get rid of him. He's absolutely Magical and our daughter will miss him so much!
January 23, 2018 at 5:19 PM · Hmm ... The thread jumps from 11 comments to 43 in less time than it took Han to make the Kessel Run ... And 38 of the 43 posts preceding this one are anonymous (sort of unprecedented at TPI) and all are expressing disappointment in Disney's decision ... Seems plausible ... (Insert eye roll).
January 24, 2018 at 7:30 AM · Typical Disney over the past 2 decades...remove or modify to make worse, and raise prices.
January 25, 2018 at 6:56 AM · The have a magical mascot who is real and talks to you and now they what to revert back to a dummy. So disappointing.

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